Warhorse - All News
Friday - November 22, 2013
Warhorse - Worldwide Pitching Tour 2013
The blog on Warhorse has been updated today with more information on the developers pitching the game to various publishers.
To sum it all up, we had a good feeling at the end of the day. There was only one clear NO. A few more NOs came due to issues at the publishers (other RPGs in their portfolios, bad financial situations…), but the game went down very well. With several publishers we pretty much got to the second round of talks and we even had interest from people we had gone to practically just on the off-chance. More than half of the meetings ended with a promise of further talks and some turned out very promising indeed.
But it wasn’t all rosy. Quite often we heard the criticism that the game didn’t look epic enough and the hero wasn’t cool enough and looked a bit square. Our hero isn’t a boring character – the mistake was that we chose the beginning of the game, where the majority of heroes in RPGs are starting from the bottom.
The fact that our game isn't a fantasy game and it could be an issue came up a few times and once it totally ruined our chances. On the other hand, in at least two cases it was a huge plus. The presentation itself basically went down well. The game didn't crash, everything worked and the reactions to my explanations seemed good and our answers to queries were satisfactory. According to our sources, no one had any problem or concerns about our ability to get the game finished.
Out of a total of about 15 meetings, at least 8 publishers are supposed to follow up. Something's got to come out of that…
Saturday - September 28, 2013
Warhorse - Developer Blog Update
The Warhorse developer blog has a new update about company disagreements, and the games pre-demo.
A strict deadline for all things to come together invariably leads to “funny” situations. You may for example have fully functional pathfinding and a completely operational crafting minigame and when combined into a single whole, both will stop working for some unfathomable reason. The likeness of that happening increases with the number of systems that are being joined together, as a result, when everything is merged, nothing works.
It goes without saying that the bar goes up as well. You stop overlooking “tiny” glitches like clipping (graphics that vanish when they get too close to camera) in combat. It didn’t bother anybody so far, everyone was happy that it’s possible to fight at all and we saw superficial stuff, like two weapons intersecting each other, as something to be fixed later. But when you show the game to somebody, the clipping and the weapons intersecting each other are the first things they’re going to notice in combat. It doesn’t matter that no other game ever had combat like this: it flickers and looks unfinished, so it must be rubbish.
And when you try to fix those things, you learn that you need a new version of the engine that’s going to be released in a month, i.e. about a week too late for your demo. And what now? You have to start hacking. Doing that, the enemy AI starts to behave strangely and you come a long way on your downward spiral. People get nervous and start quarrelling. So besides being nervous yourself, being a boss, you have to be a company shrink for the rest of the team to put their minds at ease.
Read this link for more information as I can't fit the whole post.
Wednesday - August 07, 2013
Warhorse - Pitching the Game
The blog on Warhorse has been updated last week with more information on how the game has been pitched to potential publishers and what was involved in getting there.
If you want to be successful, you have to know how to sell yourself. You know the drill: Elevator pitch, describe your project in one sentence, what are the most important features of your game… If you want your game to see the light of day eventually, you have to have all the answers at the ready. For some games, based on one or two central ideas, this can be done more-or-less easily, but it’s a daunting task for an RPG where the combination of everything that goes in is more important than any single part.
The easy answer is, of course, saying: “Our game is Like XXX, but better…” Even allowing that it’s true, it’s still a pretty pathetic thing to say. Or you can try to get your point across as you would to your buddies over a pint, but this is very risky – is the person across the table going to be on the same wavelength as your buddy? What are his tastes? Is he going to be more impressed by passion, trendy superficial slogans, or by sales statistics of similar games?
That was my biggest worry in the month leading to our trip and it made my head hurt. To think that you can ruin months of effort of many people by one ill-chosen word, misjudging your partners and their preferences, that’s awful.
The biggest problem I saw in our pitch was the very fact we are making an RPG and a realistic one to boot. For some reasons publishers do not like RPGs and try to avoid them, even though when one is published, it usually sells well enough if half decent. For this reason I put some slides at the beginning of our presentation with the aim to persuade the publishers it would be a mistake to look down on our “adult” RPG. Creating these slides was pretty hard though. Eventually they included half a dozen pictures, including e.g. 1960’s Batman and today’s Batman, or Red Sonja dueling Arnie and a poster for Game of Thrones. They were to communicate a clear message: our game is Game of Thrones, while other RPGs are Red Sonjas! Surely, there are fans who like Sonja, but most people will understand what I’m trying to tell them.
I went through a sort of first round of pitching at last year’s Gamescom when sharing info about our game with some people. The first of them, even before I started, told me: “If it’s not a Skyrim killer, there’s no point in showing it…” That felt good even though I was a bit surprised: it appears as if a few million units sold changes RPG genre’s perception among publishers and it’s going to be easier. It was. But was my defense of the genre useless? It depends. When pitching our prototype for real, I made this bit shorter, but didn’t remove it completely.
Wednesday - June 26, 2013
Warhorse - Looking Back
The official blog for Warhorse has been updated. The post defines the developers future goals, and gives details about the RPG.
Long time no see! We’ve been silent for five long months, and you’re sure to wonder why. What was going on here? Why this long pause? To put it simply: we’ve been quite busy. We were finalizing the game prototype for a Publisher pitch that our future basically hinged on, so we were focusing on that and blogs unfortunately had to be sidelined. Besides, we didn’t want to publish too much information at that important moment as it’s certainly better when your potential partner learns the salient facts from you directly and doesn’t have to hunt for them on social media. Now we finally have some time so I’ll try to catch up and write an account of what was going on here.
As you may know, we are a startup financed by a private angel investor. We received funding for development of a prototype to demonstrate to Publishers. If they’re interested, (i.e. willing to finance at least some of the development and publish the game), we move from prototype development to full production and you’ll get your game. If they’re not interested, we don’t move anywhere and you’ll get nothing and we’re out of business. Of course, there are other alternatives, like Kickstarter, but this is not what we’re focusing on right now.
The last few months were the period when we were finishing the prototype and then we went on a ‘world tour’ of Publishers’ offices, so as you can imagine we were quite occupied! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, now we want to talk about the process of finishing the prototype and the report from our tour will be on the menu for next time.
Our original plan was to develop the prototype in 15 months, and given our original commencement day this was supposed to fall on September/October 2012. Unfortunately, there were some delays when starting the company, and the deadline shifted to Christmas 2012 and we didn’t realize at first that you can’t actually sell anything but trees, turkeys and trinkets at this time of the year. We shifted our deadline to February and that gave us space to improve the thing (and it also cost us some extra money).
And what are we calling a prototype? What have we been doing for the past year and a half? We managed to do quite a lot and surprisingly (this being a game project) we even surpassed our original plan in some respects.
Wednesday - March 27, 2013
Warhorse - Video Footage
Developer: Warhorse Studios
SP/MP: Single + MP
Play-time: 40-60 hours
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· To be announced
· Publisher: Unknown